Spurs looking to get back on track in Bulgaria

Ludogorets v Tottenham Hotspur – UEFA Europa League Group J – Huvepharma Arena – Thursday 5:55pm – Preview

Jose Mourinho insisted the blame was shared following Tottenham Hotspur’s Europa League defeat to Royal Antwerp last week and he confirmed more focus was now highlighted on Bulgarian upstarts, Ludogorets, as the Lliywhites looked to get the Group J campaign back on track.

“First, we’re going to try to win the match and of course, I don’t think it was Antwerp, it was about the players, it was about the attitude, the way we faced the game and as I told you already before the first one – to blame is myself because the players didn’t perform at a normal, competitive level,” the Spurs chief explained.

“We played the knockout three matches that we had previously seriously and we did it. But this time maybe we didn’t feel the pressure of the knockouts, maybe we felt the group phase was a different thing, which is true.”

Mourinho added: “But we were not there to win it, we were just there waiting for the victory to find us and not us to find the victory. Tomorrow is not a knockout but because of the defeat, the game becomes more important.

“There are still twelve points to play for, and we have already three, but it’s important that we win or get a point. It’s important the players understand the match has to be different from Antwerp and for myself, I have to motivate them in a different way.”

Spurs are without injured duo, Erik Lamela and Serge Aurier. Meanwhile, Mourinho is likely to make several other changes with Sunday’s Premier League clash at West Bromwich Albion in mind.

Jeevesie’s prediction: Ludogorets 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Brian Jeeves

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